When you spend the better part of four days not moving as per your doctor’s instructions to LET YOUR KIDNEYS HEAL, for christ’s sake.

(This may or may not have been after you suggested to him that you go to running practice on Saturday morning. Aching nephrons and all. You’re a runner, after all. And as such…you feel no pain.)

The time eventually comes when you have to dig your spoon out of that jar of nutella you’ve been self pity-eating. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. And start shelling.


Because really and truly, there is no better time to teach yourself how to shuck Fava beans than when you are supposed to be laying in bed, twiddling your thumbs, and watching the season finale of Glee. Especially once you realize that those green pods they’re encased in are actually all bark and no bite. They are soft and squishy and literally fall apart in your hands.

And they’ll also give you something to (harmlessly) fling at the computer screen when Finn breaks up with Rachel for her own good on THEIR WEDDING DAY.  Sheesh.  This show is not for the faint of heart. Or, given how many tears I may or may not have shed, the kidney-impaired.


Best to stick with the favas, and this salad, which will make up for that nutella consumption and may even allow you to wake up on Sunday morning to fully functional kidneys and a strong and undeniable desire to run seven miles. Or not. But it will certainly make your taste buds happy.


Warm Fava Shallot Barley Salad

Serves 4, adapted from Ripe


  • 1 1/2 lb fresh Fava beans (in pod weight)
  • 1 cup barley
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 summer squash, cut into half moons
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/4 lb feta cheese, crumbled
  • Spinach


  1. Combine 1 cup barley and 3 cups water in a large pan. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, until barley is tender, about 45 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Crack the Fava pods and squeeze the beans into a bowl. Boil them for 2 minutes and then draina. Rinse them with cold water until they are cool to the touch. Squeeze the dark green inner beans into a small bowl and discard the pale green skins.
  3. In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, 1/4 tsp salt and a grinding of black pepper. Sauté until the shallots are caramelized and golden brown, 4-5 minutes. Add in the summer squash and sauté until tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to very low and add the favas, stirring until warmed through, about 3 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together the barley, favas, shallots, summer squash, olives, feta cheese, lemon juice and mint. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve over a bed of spinach.

I am submitting this to Souper Sunday, which is hosted by Deb at Kahakai Kitchen.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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74 Responses to Warm Fava Shallot Barley Salad

  1. Maria says:

    Great hearty salad!

  2. Amy says:

    Can you believe I’ve never seen Glee? This coming from someone who grew up loving (and still does) musicals, and is also married to a theatre major. I’ve also never seen Grey’s Anatomy, Mad Men, or The Simpsons. I am such a TV failure. I’ve also never had a fava bean. *hangs head in hands*

  3. Yum, I love fava beans! I just wish you got more of them out of each pod:-)

    I hope you are feeling as good as new today!!!

  4. Marcia says:

    I’m going to have to bookmark this for when I can have feta again. Kalamatas and favas?? (that I get from the CSA) = perfect!

  5. You are right – what a great way to spend your recovery time… shelling beans! Also, I agree. Snap peas are great fresh, dipped in hummus, too… But when I bought so many I had to become creative! 🙂

  6. Hope you’re feeling better and more like your “old” self soon!
    Yum to this dish 🙂

  7. You need that rest, you’ll be up and ready to go in no time. Your salad looks delish. I have never had a fava bean, but I bet there good. Next time I’m at the store, I have to look for them. Feel better soon!

  8. Salad looks so wholesome and delicious. I love, love, love favas!

  9. elly says:

    LOVE barley so much. I like fava beans, but honestly haven’t cooked with them much or even eaten them all that much. Definitely adding this one in the “to try” pile. 🙂

  10. Danielle says:

    I love fava beans but have a hard time finding them in the store 🙁

  11. Mary says:

    This is such a pretty salad! My son chose fava beans once last year as his choice from the market and I had NO clue what to do with them. I actually let them rot. You made it sound so simple, I’m going to try again. Thanks!

  12. Sam says:

    Fava beans are one bean I’ve never actually tried. I should really give it a shot. This salad looks great!

  13. Oh it looks so delicious! I sure hope that you are feeling better.

  14. love2dine says:

    Wow, the food looks really appetizing!

  15. Shannon says:

    definitely a great way to spend your “lying low” time 🙂

  16. Holly says:

    This looks sooo comforting and delish!

  17. Jay says:

    soooper tempting & irresistable
    Tasty Appetite

  18. LOVE FAVAS! And barley salads too, perfect combination! Hope the kidneys are doing better!

  19. marie says:

    This looks wonderful. I love grains and beans in a green salad so I know I would love this. Much better than Nutella 🙂

  20. Mary says:

    What an interesting dish. You do such a nice job with grains. Kudos! Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  21. I looove these flavors, olives are my absolute fave. No idea if I actually like fava beans, but feta and olives makes just about anything great 🙂

  22. Camila Faria says:

    You make the best salads Joanne. Another great one!!!

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I do not cook or eat fresh favas nearly enough. They are delicious

  24. I highly doubt you were twiddling your thumbs.
    I bet you got in a walk?
    I know you and your cabin fever.
    Didn’t we jsut have a bout of cabin fever?
    Or was that me?
    Tell me you weren’t inside during all this glorious sun?
    And now its raining, again.

  25. Bob says:

    Looks fantastic, barley is awesome and I never would have thought to put it in a salad like that.

  26. Lynn says:

    I love Glee, too. I just imagined how fun it was to watch the filming of Rachel walking through New York City singing.

    And the salad – yum.

  27. this sounds good! i hope you feel better soon!

  28. that sounds so delicious! and its so rustic and lovely!

  29. london bakes says:

    I hope your kidneys are feeling a bit better now! It seems like you made productive use of the time though, this salad would make such a great lunch.

  30. shallots how I love thee! They just make everything taste better and this salad screams summer! loving it

  31. I love barley, I should really eat more of the stuff though – it’s so cheap and good for you! Hope the kidneys bounce back (and the heart, after watching Glee!)

  32. Eileen says:

    That salad does sound great for recuperation, with all the whole grains and beautiful veg. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

  33. Saguna says:

    I concur- Finn deserves those fava shells you chucked at him!

    Mmm, mint and fava bean salad, good running food indeed. Speaking of dragging the spoon from the nutella jar- I stupidly went running on a belly full of freshly made chocolate almond butter and it did not go well…

  34. tigerfish says:

    Hope you are better right now, Joanne!

  35. Beth says:

    I love the idea of barley salad!

    And I’m also a big fan of using sick-bed time to accomplish something. After I had a gall bladder operation, I spent my recovery time reading A Fine Balance (all 728 pages). When else would I have the time?

  36. I bet this is filling and fabulous! I really like warm grain salads over greens that are just barely wilted!

  37. Chris says:

    I just came from Larry’s blog where he had a Greek salad feta and now I see this one. AAAAAHHHHH! I need feta and need it now.

  38. Carolyn Jung says:

    Nutella makes any day a better one. 😉
    But a hearty salad like this will really make a body feel good.

  39. Megan says:

    You’ve come up with another spectacular dish that I dying to try! Favas are something I’ve never made at home but would like to.

  40. Erica says:

    I love fava beans! what a great meatless dish,Joanne!I am making this one for my husband! Great flavors!

  41. Ben says:

    Crying over Glee and eating this delicious salad, sounds like a good way to heal.

  42. Kim says:

    I’ve never found fresh favas before. How cool to be able to work with them and put them to use in a salad like this. It’s gorgeous!

  43. That Girl says:

    I’m a wuss I can’t even imagine running with a kidney infection.

  44. Reeni says:

    I’m glad you’re feeling better chickadee! You’re salad is so bright and healthy! I put favas on my list this week – you took the scary out of them for me.

  45. Joanne
    This salad looks so healthy and flavourful and summery! I am so hungry, so bad timing on my part. You should enter it in the MLLA this month (I happen to be hosting it) My Legume Love Affair – but that is not why I stopped by. Just a coincidence that begged acknowledging.
    Sad to hear you have been experiencing kidney issues. Especially “unjust” for health issues to befall a person that does it all right.
    Hope you have a great doctor. 🙂 HeHe I know you do have a resilient spirit.

  46. Hotly Spiced says:

    How many jars of nutella did you get through? I actually enjoy shelling peas and fava beans (I think we call them broadbeans?) It’s quite therapeutic and allows you to do lots of daydreaming. I hope you nephrons are all recovered now xx

  47. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, There will be plenty of days ahead for running!!
    Take care, relax…and pamper yourself so that you get better.
    I am sure some of this delicious salad will help. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  48. rest up girlie and wow another stella recipe from your kitchen

  49. Kari says:

    This looks great, and just perfect for my current enjoyment of barley! I’m not sure about the shelling though, I sense I don’t have the patience. There’s only one way to get it though and I suppose that is to sit and shell.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better 🙂

  50. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    Mmmmmmmmm fava beans. My favorite! Your recipes always make me happy…and remind me that I should eat healthier…haha.

  51. Lora says:

    Beautiful and healthy. Love!

  52. Guru Uru says:

    Beans, a salad and beautiful ng my friend, well done 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  53. I am so glad that the fava beans we get here are podded as I seldom have nothing better to do, than shell beans and peas! Hope you are up and about 🙂

  54. Rachana says:

    Such a beautiful and a hearty Salad!

  55. Hi,

    I have a huge bag of barley in my cabinet and other then a couple of recipes I just never know what to do with it. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to try it out. Looks delicious!

  56. Johanna GGG says:

    Now you are making me crave nutella – just so I can have an excuse to eat your delicious salad of course 🙂 hope you are feeling better – though the Glee finale sounds like it will take many hours of therapy to overcome 🙂

  57. I’m glad you let your body rest and that you’re on your way to feeling better. This recipe sounds totally delicious. I looooove barley. I’ve been too scared to buy fava beans because I don’t know how to shell them, but you make it seem pretty easy so I might have to give it a try!

  58. I love favas so much…but never have the energy to sit around and peel them. I guess that’s a “benefit” of being sick? The final dish looks fantastic!

  59. Thanks for this Joanne. I haven’t had barley in so long and it’s one of my favorite grains. This just looks like a big bowl of healthy!

  60. kellypea says:

    Kidneys? Holy cow :/ On the favas, I’ve peeled them once while sitting with my mother, and we both concluded that as much as we enjoyed them, no way were we planning on peeling them again. L.A.Z.Y. Yummy recipe here — barley is a fave!

  61. Suzi says:

    Hey Joanne, this is a lovely healthy salad. It’s nice to see barley being used and especially in a salad. Love those kalamatas.

  62. Love them!!
    I am always amazed by how healthy and delicious and innovative ur recipes are..

  63. Kathy says:

    This salad looks so delicious…love all those healthy ingredients, especially the barley and fava beans! Definitely my kind of salad!!

  64. I love fava beans, but I hate shelling them. Next time I come across some already shelled, this salad is getting made. Yum!

  65. JoJo says:

    I’ve never had fava beans, but I can tell it would be something I’d like!
    I hope your condition is not too serious!

  66. Rachel and Finn get engaged? WHERE HAVE I BEEN?? I need some barley salad.

  67. Katie says:

    What a beautiful cookbook to take a recipe from! This looks like a fantastic choice. I’m loving salads right now, too!

  68. Hannah says:

    This dish has my name written all over it- I could never eat enough fava beans, and I adore cold barley salads in the summer. Switching over to tofu feta, I have absolutely everything on hand, and this is going on tomorrow morning’s to-do list!

  69. I hope you’re feeling better! And can you believe I’ve never had fava beans?!!

  70. Riley says:

    Yummy! This looks fantastic.

  71. I love all of the textures and ingredients in this salad–so satisfying and delicious. Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays this week. 😉

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